North Jersey News Roundup for Oct. 21, 2020

The state has launched its health insurance marketplace, Get Covered New Jersey, despite questions if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will survive a Supreme Court challenge. Residents will be able to browse health plans, compare prices and find out if they may qualify for financial help ahead of the ACA Open Enrollment Period that begins Nov. 1. Get Covered New Jersey replaces to enroll in Marketplace health insurance plans. 

New Jersey added Arizona and Maryland to its COVID-19 travel advisory list, bringing the total to 39 states and territories. While Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware met the criteria for New Jersey’s travel advisory, the states are not on the advisory due to the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between the states. State officials are highly discouraging non-essential travel to these states. NJ Insider

Gov. Andrew Cuomo excluded New Jersey from New York’s quarantine list, saying there was “no practical way” to enforce such a limitation. The vast numbers of commuters crossing state borders, particularly from New Jersey and Connecticut, would make a quarantine nearly impossible to carry out. “There are too many interconnections,” Gov. Cuomo said. “There are too many people who live in one place and work in the other…(it) would have a disastrous effect on the economy.” PoliticoNJ

New Jersey lawmakers recently announced $100 million in additional CARES Act funding to support New Jersey residents and small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The majority of the money, $70 million in total, will be distributed to restaurants, microbusinesses, and other small businesses through Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan was introduced as Gov. Phil Murphy’s nominee to be the next  state’s Education Commissioner. Allen-McMillan now serves as interim Morris County Executive Superintendent of Schools and served as an assistant Superintendent of Schools in Newark and Irvington. She is a former science teacher and elementary school principal in South Orange. NJ Spotlight News

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a trio of criminal justice bills focused on sentencing reform, though none of them eliminate mandatory minimums for certain crimes. The bills establish a compassionate release program for inmates diagnosed with a grave medical condition, add a defendant’s young age to a list of factors a court may consider when sentencing the person, and require a cost savings study of compassionate release programs and the elimination of mandatory minimums.

Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Rik Mehta will meet for their only debate for U.S. Senate in New Jersey on Oct. 27 at 5 PM. The debate will air live on and its social media platforms. Two television networks will rebroadcast the debate between Booker and Mehta: my9 in North Jersey at 6 PM on Oct. 31, and Fox29 in South Jersey at 7 AM on Nov. 1. New Jersey Globe

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by 10 points in a national head-to-head match-up, according to a new Cheddar/SurveyUSA poll. Among likely voters, 53% say Biden is their top choice compared to 43% for Trump, unchanged from Cheddar/SurveyUSA’s polling three weeks earlier. News12 New Jersey

Veterans homes in New Jersey will get federal reinforcements in regards to staffing days after a shake up at New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “The Federal Department of Veterans Affairs is providing additional clinical staff to help us protect the health and safety of residents in our long-term care centers,” said Gov. Phil Murphy at a press briefing Oct. 19. “The staff support began this morning and will continue for at least four weeks.”

Newark Councilman Joseph McCallum was charged in federal court in taking part in a scheme to take bribes and kickbacks from private companies who wanted to do business with Newark. Federal prosecutor allege McCallum took more than $41,000 in bribes to help connect a contractor to construction jobs. News12 New Jersey

An NJ Transit project to build a backup power system to keep trains running will be fueled by solar and battery storage instead of natural gas. The project had been opposed by environmentalists and 13 Hudson and Bergen County municipalities that passed resolutions opposing the project because it would worsen pollution in North Jersey. The 140 megawatt generator is part of the larger NJ Transitgrid Power System, a $546 million project that would provide electricity to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, parts of NJ Transit’s Morris and Essex lines and the Hudson-Bergen light rail in case of a power outage.

Morris County officials installed a ballot drop box in Dover, even though it originally was not slated to get one. Town officials appealed to the county for the box citing a high percentage of voters who live in Dover not having access to a vehicle and rely on public or third-party transportation. The Daily Record

Hudson County has sold the Koppers Coke Seaboard site in the Meadowlands for $28 million. The new owner, Morris Kearny Associates, plans to build warehousing on the 130-acre site, generating property tax for Kearny for the first time in about 40 years. The Jersey Journal

And finally…Tenafly Bow Tie Cinema building is for sale for a price of  $1.4 million. The Record

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